Earth Day: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary in a Digital World

Earth day graphic of avater looking out the window to a horizon of mountains, bay, and sky with the words earth day above

Like much else, Earth Day looked a little different this year.

Founded in 1970, Earth Day began as a “unified response to an environment in crisis” that found 10% of the United States population taking to the streets to “protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet.”

Earth Day is noted as having launched a global movement to protect the environment, resulting in such successes as the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the National Environmental Education Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, amongst others.

This year marked the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, and while celebrations and commemorations usually include some form of gathering and physical participation, the movement did not rest simply because people are currently required to keep their distance. Instead, things went online for Mother Nature’s birthday this year, and action was taken in digital form.

From environmental enthusiasts and scientists to political figures and celebrities, billions of people took part in Earth Day 2020 online, and major brands didn’t hesitate to contribute their voices to the conversation. Take a look at some of the stand-outs:


NASA helped people across the globe celebrate Earth Day with several unique and valuable resources. Using the hashtag #EarthDayAtHome, they spread awareness across social media and encouraged people to share the different ways they were observing the day, whether by creating artwork, participating in a science activity, going for a walk, or appreciating the nature in their own backyard.

They also collected educational activities, videos, programs, games, articles, and additional materials in their Earth Day 50th Anniversary Toolkit to help families kick-start their celebrations and released special videos on their YouTube channel, using the kind of footage only NASA can secure, that brought in an audience of more than 200,000.


Hyundai Motor Company partnered with Korean pop sensation BTS to commemorate Earth Day with the #DarkSelfieChallenge, which asked people to take a selfie in the dark using only the camera’s flash as a light source. The purpose? “Shed light on climate change and environmental protection.”

With their accompanying video released on YouTube, Hyundai presented its vision for hydrogen energy as the positive energy for a better tomorrow.

National Geographic

National Geographic wanted to connect with the children of the world for Earth Day this year. Since parks and trails are closed, the nature-focused company asked kids to use their imagination and bring the scenes of wildlife inside their heads to life using chalk, crayons, finger paint, and everything in between.

They encouraged parents to share their children’s creations with the hashtag #NatGeoEarthDayAtHome so that the world could appreciate the creations of our smallest humans!

National Geographic has also used the month of April to highlight explorers who are working on conservation and species preservation through their Explorer Classroom digital events.


Michelob Ultra

With the challenge of this year’s Earth Day being celebrated mostly at home, Michelob Ultra got creative with the way they encouraged people to take time out of their quarantine routine to appreciate Mother Nature.

Anyone who tuned into Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful livestream and tweeted with the hashtag #GoldFaithful and #Sweepstakes was entered for the chance to win a year’s supply of Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. One winner was chosen with each eruption, which meant the more you observed and celebrated this natural wonder, the greater your chance of winning tons and tons of beer… a win-win right?

On a more serious note, Michelob Ultra also donated $1 for each case of Pure Gold purchased from April 22nd – May 22nd to the National Park Foundation.

If there’s one good thing to come out of this national pandemic, it’s that Mother Nature has gotten a nice break from the pollution that accompanies our usually busy everyday lives.

And that’s a pretty great gift for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary.

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